I’m heading off to San Francisco, blizzard gods willing (update: they’re not, I’m holed up in an airport hotel watching it snow after a two hour battle up here because my flight showed “ON TIME” until I pulled into the airport!), to teach a seminar for National Geographic Traveler with my buddy Ralph Lee Hopkins. I’m going to hang a few extra days and shoot some stock.
Okay, stop laughing. Travel stock of San Francisco? Good luck selling it. Yeah, yeah, I know. But I’ve never really shot there, so I’m doing it for the therapy value. Peggy and I lived in the Bay Area when we were first married and I was in acting school (at the American Conservatory Theater), and I hardly ever get back and I always wanted to shoot it. So who cares if it never sells? At least that’s what my therapist says….
So the blog will be a little quiet and I thought I’d share a couple more shots from the New Hope portrait project. Like the one above of Dan and Katie, proprietors of New Hope Fitness. Now that’s what I call strength training. This shot was a lot easier for me to pull off than it was for Dan. All I did was use the regular big softlight I wrote about in the previous post.
A more difficult challenge came lighting Adele, the Ghost Lady of New Hope. Adele gives ghost tours of town, and you really need a scorecard in this town because it’s full of them, from as far back as the Revolutionary War and beyond.
To get the basic “ghoul” lighting, we took the big lightbox off the stand and aimed it up from the floor. That was a cool effect, but the lantern candle wasn’t quite cutting it, and we had a shadow of her arm across her face.
We bypassed the candles (truth is, I knew they’d never be bright enough) and instead put in a little Morris mini flash slave in the lantern to simulate the lantern light. Then all we had to do was balance the light from the box hitting all the black of her outfit with the light from the slave hitting her face—-piece of cake.
Only took twenty minutes until we had enough ND material in the lantern to provide a good balance. Then we had to work out a position where the highlights in Adele’s glasses weren’t too distracting (couldn’t get rid of them altogether—-the studio space we’re shooting in is said to be haunted too, and the ghost just wouldn’t let me have an easy time of it!).
But, thanks to Adele’s patience and good relationship with the spirit side, we got off a fun shot.